Workshop: Climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation in the Midwest
October 14 and 15, 2010
Unequivocal evidence exists for anthropogenic forcing of climate change, and unprecedented international efforts are being engaged in mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change. A workshop focused on possible climate change impacts and vulnerabilities hosted by Professor Sara C. Pryor and funded by the IU Center for Research in Environmental Sciences (CRES) was held on October 14 and 15, 2010, at IU Bloomington.
Understanding climate change: Climate variability, predictability and change in the Midwestern US, edited by Sara C. Pryor and published by Indiana University Press in 2009.
This workshop was a follow-up to one hosted by Professor Pryor in October 2007 which focused on articulating the state-of-the-art in terms of climate science in the region. That prior workshop resulted in a 24-chapter volume published by Indiana University Press synthesizing the state-of-the-art regarding knowledge of historical and projected future changes in the physical climate of the Midwest over the last 100 years and the current century.
The Midwest is highly sensitive to climate change for several reasons: It is a major agricultural center, producing over 90% of the nation's corn and soybeans. Also, with the exception of the polar ice caps, the Great Lakes are the world's largest source of fresh water and, in addition to providing drinking water and hydroelectric power to the region, serve as a major transportation system. The Midwest is also somewhat exceptional in a climate context; it lies at the transition between tropical and polar air masses, thus slight shifts in the position of these air masses caused by climate change will have a large effect on the Midwest. There is tremendous local modification of climate by land-use change and irrigation.
The workshop held in October 2010 sought to illustrate the impacts of global warming in our region and the potential for adaptation to reduce the vulnerability to, and risks posed by, climate change. A book summarizing these impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities will be developed from the workshop and is to be published by Indiana University Press.
Attendees at the workshop included faculty from Michigan State University, University of Illinois, University of Florida, Iowa State University, Purdue University, University of Nebraska, St. Louis University, Southern Illinois University, and IU Patten lecturer from the Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility–Professor Jean Palutikof.
Attendees of the 2010 workshop "Climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation in the Midwest" were: Back row (left to right): Dr. Zaitao Pan (St. Louis University), Dr. Jinhua Zhao (Michigan State University), Dr. Douglas Gotham (Purdue University), Dr. Keith Talbot Ingram (University of Florida), Dr. Mike Hayes (University of Nebraska), Dr. Jim Angel (Illinois State Water Survey), Dr. Julie Winkler (Michigan State University). Middle row (left to right): Dr. Justin Schoof (Southern Illinois University), Dr. Chris Anderson (Iowa State University), Dr. Jeff Andresen (Michigan State University), Mr. Perdinan (Michigan State University), Dr. Jean Palutikof (Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, also IU Patten lecturer for Fall 2010 and co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize), Dr. Dev Niyogi (Purdue University). Front: Dr. Rebecca Barthelmie (Indiana University) and Dr. Sara Pryor (Indiana University, workshop organizer). Not shown: Dr. Dan Johnson (IUPUI), Ms. Paola Crippa (Indiana University), Ms. Gloria Maleski (Indiana University), and Dr. Keith Clay (Indiana University).